Nothing tastes better than homemade bread. Since I’ve started to bake my own bread, I’ve stopped purchasing bread from local grocery stores. The ingredients are simple, the process is easy to follow and every bite is aromatic and free of chemical additives and preservatives. In short, it’s a feel-good food that energizes my body and keeps me going when I’m in between classes.
Today’s bread recipe was developed while I was on vacation in Taiwan visiting family. I was inspired by my dad, who loves his carbs, nuts and seeds. Now, I personally do not consume nuts and seeds alone but LOVE them in my oatmeal, salads and breads. So I decided to make something special for my parents in the last few days before I came back to the states.
Combining my dad’s love for carbs, nuts and seeds with my profound love for baking, I decided to spend the day in the kitchen baking loaves of Whole Wheat Nut & Seed Bread with cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and sunflower seeds. It was my first time with this recipe and luckily it came out perfect.
Now, with whole wheat recipes, I learned that it is best to use a 50/50 ratio because it lightens the finished product while maintaining the nutritional benefits of whole wheat. On its own, whole wheat flour is less processed than all-purpose flour and higher in nutrients and fiber, however it also has a coarser texture because it is ground from the entire wheat kernel. For this reason, I blend whole wheat flour with all-purpose flour at even ratios.
Another tip I learned is the type of bread and loaf pans matter. Previously, I used a standard 9×5 inch bread and loaf pan but always noticed a slightly soggy bottom if I didn’t let it sit to cool and then remove it out of the pan to a cooling rack. The timing seemed to be everything here. And even when I let it sit on a cooling rack, the bottoms would sink heavy between the racks (making my bread shrink in height).
Luckily, when I was in Taiwan, I found a 9x4x3 inch pan with ventilation holes in the base, which helped air circulate evenly to create the perfect loaves every time. Without fail, every loaf I made in these pans were baked to golden brown on all sides without soggy bottoms and cooled easily in and out of the pan. So if you’re an avid baker like I am, I recommend investing in this Amazon-available option: Astra Gourmet Pullman Loaf Pan With Cover/Baking Mould Cake Toast Bread Mold/ Non-Stick Toast Box with Lid for $19.59.
- 2 Cups warm water about 110-120 degrees
- 1/3 to 1/2 Cups white sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
- Place sugar and water in bowl
- Sprinkle with yeast and let dissolve 5-15 minutes
- Add salt, oil and half the flour mix together.
- Add remaining flour. Change to dough hook and mix till its pulling away from the sides.
- Pull out onto lightly floured surface and knead shortly, folding in nuts and seeds.
- Place in greased bowl flipping to cover both sides.
- Top with saran wrap or damp warm towel
- Set aside in draft free area and let rise till doubles in size. About 1 hour
- Remove cover and punch down.
- Lay out on lightly floured surface and cut in half.
- Flaten out into rectangle and “jelly” roll into a loaf.
- Pinch ends together and place in greased 9×5 bread pans.
- Repeat with other half.
- Cover and let rise till double in size about 30-50 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Once double in size bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Pull out and brush top with butter.
- Let rest 10 minutes before removing to cooling rack.